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One Day

E.M.E

I went to New York this spring for the first time. It was everything I expected and more. It was a dope place with dope people. The people there are all hustlers. And the food is amazing.

 

I got to record at Quad Studios where Biggie Smalls and Tupac and all the greats have recorded. While I was there, I thought of the idea for this song that is a message to myself in the future. I’m telling myself that everything’s going to come together, that the vision will be realized and that people are going to understand what I’m doing.

That song is "One Day."


Doing music gets really depressing. You question yourself a lot. What am I doing? Am I a failure? That’s with anything in life, and I definitely experience that as I’m going through this journey with my platform. I live in Colorado and I always rep Afrobeats to the world, but I have my own voice and style with it. The people I met with in New York — people who worked with Busta Rhymes, Nicki Minaj, some of the top artists in the game right now — they really saw that. Sometimes it takes getting outside of your day-to-day community for someone to really see you.

 

My time in New York showed me that even though I have tough moments right now, the right people will join my movement and it will continue to grow. I’m grateful for the Afrobeats pioneers before me like Fela Kuti and P-Square who sacrificed so much so that we can win. Afrobeats stars today have their own movements. Burna Boy has the Outsiders and Rema has the Ravers. I want my movement to be called the Believers.

No more talking, just belive. Believe in yourself. Believe in the process. Believe in God. Believe in the higher power. Believe that something greater is meant to happen.

My core Believers is my family. I do this for my mom to show her that she didn’t make a mistake leaving Nigeria for a better life for us. I do this for my father, who was a well-respected chief in the Igbo tribe. At the end of the day, my whole goal is to restore royalty to my family’s name. And my family will continue to expand as I welcome more fans to the mission. We each have dignity and purpose. That is true royalty.

I moved to America when I was about 7, 8 with my family due to war back home. We were going through a lot and my mom basically took the risk. She entered a contest to win a visa and luckily she won, so she sold everything from our house and saved up enough for us to come to America. If we didn’t leave when we did, we would all be dead by now. A couple of my family members and neighbors, their houses were blown up. Some of them were beheaded or their arms, legs were cut off. We give all glory to God that we’re still here. Shoutout to my mom for that because her doing what she did to pack up all her stuff to leave her hometown that she grew up in, it's big. She did that to protect her kids and give 'em a better future.

 

That’s really my story. The story is we’re still here. Everything we did to get to this point was to live better lives. My mom did that for us to live better lives. I just pray one day I can give everything back to her and more. In Nigeria, the politics are so messed up. It's different in America where you have a system, even though the system might be bad sometimes. But in Nigeria, there is no system. The people that are in power stay in power. It's just a bad way to live. Nothing is getting passed down to the youth. The youth don't have a voice. It's bad as a whole.

 

My mom did what she did and was able to come to America. We were able to get an apartment in Aurora, Colorado and then Wheat Ridge for a little bit. We moved again and we relocated to Montbello. So I spent most of my teenage days in Montbello. That also helped mold me into the person I am today. Bellside!

 

In my junior year of high school ahead of my senior season, I was really pushing heavy to get a football scholarship to go to college. That was my whole plan all four years to play football in high school. Before COVID happened, I was talking to some colleges here and there, looking for a big senior year. Then COVID hit and all the seniors that were already in college got to have an extra year of football, so a lot of those colleges kept those seniors for an extra year and pulled other kids' scholarships. I was one of those kids, unfortunately.

 

It was heartbreaking for an 18-year-old kid that thought the world was in front of him when it came to athletics. I worked out every day. I was always in the weight room, to practice, to home. I repeated that same routine every day since seventh grade. I never cheated the game. I was team captain, did everything I needed to do to put our team in position to win and I was one of the best players on the team. So to have everything taken from you like that in a snap of a finger, it's definitely heartbreaking.

 

I couldn’t even think. I'm not a kid that usually gets depressed. I tell a lot of people, I don’t have time to be depressed. I have to get to it, I have to feed my family. I looked in my mom’s face and I tried to figure out a way to tell her my dream of college football is basically over. A lot of schools wanted me to walk on, but I couldn’t afford to go to college in the first place.

One of my high school counselors told me about some scholarships that I should apply for to get a shot to go to college. I applied and I wrote my story about my upbringing. I did an interview process, not thinking anything of it and then a  month later, I get an email back saying, "You won the scholarships!" Then I started getting more scholarships along the way. I was like, "Oh, that’s gotta be a sign from God for me to go to college." Everything really just worked out in my favor and I am now a student at CSU. But I had to break it down to everybody, "I’m not going to college for football, I’m going to college for academics." It’s hard to explain to a Nigerian mom why I'm not playing sports anymore. So then she's looking at me like, "So what's your plan?" I had to figure out what I wanted to do next.

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I’ve always had a passion for music, I just didn’t know what to do with it. At that point in time, I wasn't thinking music could be a career. I’ve always rapped or lip-synched to other people I was watching on TV. For my 18th birthday, my brother told me he found a good studio that he would take me to and pay for my session to record a song. So I went there and I was like, this is dope. I was rapping at first, trying to be a rapper. It gave me a spark of joy again that I hadn't felt since I played football. After that, I was like, okay bet. Every little money I make here and there is going to go into the studio. I kept building that and building that and building that and music became a passion of mine that I just wanted to pursue.

 

Nobody took it serious, but I started making better music, singing and adding melodies. At first, as a Nigerian kid trying to fit into America, I was trying to figure out what all Americans liked, so I was really into rap music. My sister always loved Afrobeat music. She always played it around the house. So I had to listen to it over and over and over again in my upbringing. I really loved Wizkid, who's from Nigeria too. So as I got more into music for myself, I started using my African descent. The vibe was already in me and I just used it more in my music so people could move their body. One of my mom's friends listened to a song and said, "Wow, is this Bobo?" It gave my mom a chance to really listen to the music and she started loving it. From that point forward, it was God just putting the right people around me.

 

I did a one-song challenge with Scotty ATL. He came to Denver and did the event with DJ K-Tone, DJ Squizzy Taylor and Lizzy Brodie. I played them one of my unreleased songs called “Honest” and they was all loving it. I didn’t win, I was second place, even though I think I should have won, but DJ K-Tone told me, "We're gonna be a blanket around you and show you to the right people because we think you have something." They introduced me to Mic Coats. I've just been rocking with him and FL since then.

One song that I've had success with is "Drago," which charted in Nigeria. I got the inspiration from the "Creed II" movie where Viktor Drago is fighting to restore his father's name and their place in their country. "Drago" was crazy 'cause as soon as Mic sent me that beat, I was like "Yo, what tha…" I always tell Mic when we're going through beats, "You're getting warmer" or "You're almost there." When he sent this beat, I'm like, "Oh this is the one." Writing the song, it’s almost like the gangster side of me and the Afro side of me at the same time while still telling a story. So when I’m saying "Where did you gooo now?" It’s almost like I’m talking in first person. People ask me, "Where did Emmanuel go? Who is this new person we're seeing?" It's the new and rebranded me. I'm not the same kid everybody remembers. Then it's like "I'm on my owwwn now." That part is me explaining how I rebranded myself. It took a lot for me to come into my own. Me being a Nigerian kid coming into America, I wasn't welcome at first. I got bullied a lot growing up. So when I say I'm on my own, I really had to face my fears and feel comfortable in my skin again. 

 

Like Drago, I’m fighting for my right not just to live, but I’m fighting for my country, I'm fighting for my family and I'm fighting to bring success back to my family name and to my hometown so everybody can be proud of me. I hope when other people listen to it, they get that same sense or feel that no matter what, no matter what situation or struggle you're going through in this life, that you just keep fighting. 'Cause we’re all soldiers like Drago. Keep fighting and bring success back to your name. Bring success back to your family. Bring success back to anything you're doing in this life.

 

Know that rebranding yourself and feeling comfortable in your body is going to be lonely. But that’s what makes you special. You are who you are. For me to get to this point, it took a lot of lonely days. It took a lot of getting advice. It took a lot of having to tell yourself, "I am the shit. I am who I say I am and I’m going to prove that to myself, not to anybody else." Every day. You can easily get lost in identities. At first, I was too African. Now, I’m too American. It was hard to find that in between. Now, it’s just like, I’m just going to be me. I'm just going to be who I am and I'm gonna embrace the best of everything I do have and accept me for who I am. As a person, you have to accept yourself before anybody else will accept you. I have to love myself before I can love anybody else. I have to have confidence in myself before anybody else can have confidence in me. I started working out, I lost weight, I prayed, I listened to music and I just started focusing on more of the stuff that can better me as a person, as an individual. The more and more I did that, the more and more the confidence started to grow. You do that little stuff, you're basically building yourself and you don't even know it. You start walking different, talking different, acting different. It’s not different in a bad way. It's different in a good way because this is who you were meant to be from the jump.

 

Keep going and one day everything will make sense.

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